Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Snow Ghost Pie: National Pie Day

Today is National Pie Day, and this pie is just right for December 1. It's a Snow Ghost Pie. It's pretty chilly out there, so I like the name of this pie. This Snow Ghost Pie is easy and really good.

This Retro Ad from Hershey says "Snow Ghost Pie tastes as good today as it did when Granma baked in back in '33." I wasn't around in 33, and I doubt my grandmother would have baked this, but I've made it since. This recipe appeared in the original 1934 Hershey's Cookbook (and the facsimile). There's a story in the Advertisement that you'll want to read. Not sure if Hershey was doing this as a take-off of the Baker's Chocolate Story Ads & Recipes, or not.

So start your December off with Snow Ghost Pie!

Snow Ghost Cocoa Cream Pie 

1 9-inch baked pastry shell or crumb crust
1/2 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Sweetened whipped cream

Combine cocoa, sugar, salt, and cornstarch in medium saucepan. Gradually blend milk into dry ingredients, stirring until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until filling boils; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat; blend in butter and vanilla. Pour into pie crust. Carefully press plastic wrap directly onto pie filling. Cool; chill 3 to 4 hours.
Garnish with whipped cream.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Cherry Pie Stuffed Chocolate Cake: 3 Recipes

So last week, everyone was talking Turducken and Pie Stuffed Cakes. I didn't have the time or inclination to make one, so I was thrilled when Duff Goldman, one of my favorite Food Network Bakers, posted a recipe and video for Duff's Cherry Pie Stuffed Chocolate Cake today. I like the recipe, and I, especially like that there's a video on the Food Network site. Lots of tips and tricks for this Cherry Pie Stuffed Chocolate Cake, as well as for other baking.

But I always like to have more than one choice, and I found two other recipes for Cherry Pie Stuffed Chocolate Cake--one from Everyday Gourmet  and one from Danielle Wheeler at Not Yet There. They're both even easier than Duff's! Be sure and scroll down for the other two recipes. Any of these cakes would make a great holiday dessert!

1. Duff's Cherry Pie-Stuffed Chocolate Cake  
Check the Video out here.

Duff Goldman combines cherry pie and chocolate cake into the ultimate dessert mashup

4 boxes chocolate cake mix, baked, cooled and leveled
3 cans store-bought whipped chocolate frosting
Nonstick cooking spray
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 pie crust, recipe follows or store-bought
One 12-ounce can cherry pie filling
Confectioners' sugar, for garnish

Pie Crust: 
1 1/2 pounds all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound (4 sticks) cold butter, cubed
 1/4 cup heavy cream
 4 egg yolks


Special equipment: a 4-inch round cutter; a ruler
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Use a 4-inch round cutter to cut out a hole in the exact center of two of the cakes. Using an offset spatula or butter knife, add a 1/4-inch layer of the frosting to one of the whole cakes, which will become the bottom layer. Then place one cake with a hole in it over the top of the bottom layer. Frost that cake with a 1/4-inch layer of frosting. Place the second cake with the hole over the top and frost that cake with a 1/4-inch layer of frosting. Set the remaining whole cake aside for a later use. Measure the height of the barrel created in the cake center.

Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Dust flour on a clean surface and roll out the pie crust to 1/8-inch thick. Use a ruler to cut 15 strips of pie dough, 1-inch wide and the height of the cake, and then use the 4-inch round cutter to cut a round of pie dough. Transfer the pie strips and round to the prepared baking sheet. Bake the dough until golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

 Frost the inside of the barrel of the cake. Drop the pie round into the bottom of the barrel to create the bottom. Lightly press the baked pie strips into the sides of the barrel directly next to each other until the barrel is fully formed. Pour the cherry pie filling into the center of the barrel. Finally place the remaining whole cake on top to cover. Cover the entire cake with the remaining chocolate frosting. Dust with confectioners' sugar to serve.

Pie Crust:  (you can always buy pie crust..I used Trader Joe's)
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Slowly drop in the cubed butter and mix until the mixture resembles wet sand. In a small bowl whisk together the egg yolks and heavy cream, then pour the mixture into the bowl of the stand mixer and whip until just combined. Turn the dough out onto a clean cutting board and cut in half. Using your hands, gently push each half of dough into a disc and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to overnight.

Yield: 2 pie crusts. 

from Everyday Gourmet

Here's why this is so easy. Start with a pre-baked cherry pie and store bought cake mix. The cake pan is a 10 inch round with a 3 inch deep pan. You can also use a smaller cake pan by just using 1 box of cake mix instead of 1.5. Once cake batter is prepared according to directions on box, pour half of it into bottom of your prepared cake pan, place pre-baked pie inside cake pan upside down on batter, then pour remaining batter over top. 50 minutes later, you're done!  

Easier Cherry Pie Stuffed Chocolate Cake 

2 – 15 ounce box chocolate cake mix prepared according to directions up to baking portion 1 prebaked cherry pie
Whipped Cream for Garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare cake batters in mixing bowl and whisk until all ingredients are evenly combined. Pour 1/2 of batter amount into prepared 10 round cake pan. (with 3 inch depth pan)
Invert cherry pie onto cake batter, remove foil.
Top with remaining cake batter and bake in oven for 50-55 minutes or until cake rises, top is solid, and cake tester comes out clean and free of cake batter. (will have pie on it)
Remove from oven and cool for 2 hours.
(You can cheat and set it outside for 30 minutes in refrigerator or freezer)
Invert cake onto pie plate, slice, and top with whipped cream for serving.

3. And yet another EASY recipe for PIECAKEN! 
Go to Not Yet There for the recipe.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Chocolate Banana French Toast: National French Toast Day

1919 Advertisement for Log Cabin Syrup
I love French Toast: Pain Perdu ... This wonderful food was a way to use up stale bread by dipping it in eggs and milk and frying it. I usually make French Toast with Challah, Brioche, or Sourdough, but I've been known to try other breads.

Have a look at some of the other French Toast recipes I've posted. Stuffed Chocolate French Toast, Hazelnut French Toast, Stuffed Challah Nutella French Toast.

Today in honor of National French Toast Day, I thought I'd share an easy recipe for Baked Banana Chocolate French Toast! I love Chocolate and Bananas, and this is a great make-ahead French toast recipe! OK, this French Toast is not fried, and it's a bit like a bread pudding, but it's still fabulous! You could always fry it by following the directions but putting the chocolate between two pieces of the bread--stuffed French Toast.


4 ripe bananas
4 eggs
3/4 cups half and half
1/4 cup sweet butter, melted
4 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla extract
1 loaf of Challah (or Brioche) cut in thick slices
1/2 cup fair-trade dark chocolate 65-85% cacao, chopped into pieces

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Butter a 9" x 13" baking dish.
In large bowl, mash bananas. Add eggs, half and half, melted butter, 3 tablespoons sugar, and vanilla; mix until well beaten. Add bread and turn to coat.
Layer bread in prepared baking dish. Pour remaining mixture over bread.
Sprinkle with chocolate chunks and remaining tablespoon of sugar.
Bake 18 minutes, or until set & golden.